Local Brand of The Week: TFC December 10, 2017 – Posted in: Brand of the Week – Tags: , , , , , ,

“Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else cared”. A powerful quote for Nicole Jowett, Founder of T-Shirts for Change. A quote that the young, talented social entrepreneur put into action by celebrating the rise of women and minorities that have been invisible and ignored by society continuously. Through her uniquely and locally designed fashion range she has changed the lives of others, raising funds for charities such as Frida Hartley Women’s Shelter, The Luleki Sizwe Foundation (LGBT+) and Vision Africa Education.

T-Shirts For Change

It all started with 10 FEMINIST T-shirts that Nicole printed for herself and some friends for Women’s Day when she suddenly realised that there was a great opportunity to make a real change with something as simple as a T-Shirt through the power of the collective. She decided to create the apparel brand T-Shirts For Change, donating R100 from every item sold to charity.  She is hoping to grow this social initiative and take on animal shelters as well as charities that help refugees in the near future – in light of the recent refugee crisis worldwide.

We at Localism have embraced this cause and invite you to grab your local girl gang and contribute to T-Shirts For Change to challenge stigmas and stereotypes around women while giving back to your community. Female Empowerment should no longer be taboo. Join T-Shirts for Change to turn fashion into a transformation movement. Read more about Nicole and her unique social project in the Q&A below:

T-Shirts For Change

Photography by Nick Ferreira

T-shirts For Change

Photography by Nick Ferreira

T-Shirts For Change

Photography by Nick Ferreira

T-Shirts For Change

Photography by Nick Ferreira

What does “feminism” mean to you?

Feminism is often an unnecessarily complicated and controversial topic but at the end of it all its simply about equal rights regardless of gender.

How does T-Shirts for Change provide a new model for ‘giving’?

When you buy t-shirts and apparel from T-Shirts For Change not only are you making a tangible donation to charity, but you are also supporting local industries and helping to grow local businesses and employment.  Moreover wearing the T-shirt raises awareness for the causes you care about.  I have found that the social aspect of T-Shirts For Change has truly raised a lot of awareness for the charities involved and has led to interest from corporate donors, volunteers, and more. This combination has proven to be a very powerful way of giving back and creating change.

What was the biggest challenge when starting your social initiative and what makes you proud the most?

Honestly, there were not many challenges with launching this initiative.  The few challenges that I do face, are wildly overshadowed by the joy this project brings me.  Most of the people I approached such as Sade Gilliberti (@onesadie), Aisha Baker (@bakedonline), Jade Robertson (@justjadeblog), and more were so incredibly helpful and generous!  Cheryl Hlabane, the manager of Frida Hartley Women’s Shelter, was enthusiastic and supportive of my idea when I first approached her, without her enthusiasm it would not be where it is today,   She has been a fundamental part of introducing new designs, and ideas to the initiative.

What makes me proud on a daily basis is seeing customers post a picture wearing their T-shirt and being proud of their contribution.

Do you have any advice for other social entrepreneurs?

Never be afraid of failure.  Some ideas will fail but you never know which idea will be a success, so try them all.

What makes you a proudly South African?

I try not to focus on the negativity, and see all the good we have to offer as South Africans – which is easy when I get so many wonderful customers that want to be part of a better South Africa!

What local brands do you follow?

I love Talisman Collective jewelry, SKOON Skincare which is 100% natural, vegan, and so divine, and Summer Heart Swimwear who also have a conscious aspect to their business model.

What’s trending this Summer?

Everything embroidery and embellishments, look out for FEMINIST sew on and iron-on patches and palm tree bikinis, embellished by hand by the women at Frida Hartley Women’s Shelter, in store soon.  Also tigers are everywhere this summer, so I have jumped on the band wagon and will be releasing a tiger WILD FEMINIST tee soon!

Check out the online shop here.

T-Shirt For Change